KFA-HRISC 2022 Update for KPU Faculty
This Saturday, December 10th, is the annual International Human Rights Day. Once again this is an important time for (re)affirming and (re)asserting the human rights of all people in all communities at home and around the globe. I wish to direct your attention to the United Nations, which explains that: “Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR is a milestone document that proclaims the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status. Available in 500+ languages, it is the most translated document in the world.”
Your Kwantlen Faculty Association (KFA) has been actively working with the Federation of Postsecondary Educators of B.C. (FPSE-BC) and its Human Rights and International Solidarity Committee (HRISC). In 2022, we supported new and ongoing projects or resolutions related to human rights. These included:
- Supporting resolutions to remind governments and institutions about scholars’ and students human/labour rights in the Ukraine, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Iran and other locations.
- Affirming the important work of our FPSE Climate Action Standing Committee (FPSE-CASC) in relation to the human rights impacts of climate change for communities in Turtle Island and around the globe. NOTE: Your KFA seeks to recruit one or more KPU faculty members who are interested in being a CASC Rep in 2023-24. If you are interested in our KFA Climate Action Standing Committee, please send me a short private email.
- Organizing in 2022, two virtual FPSE Human Rights & International Solidarity Speaker’s Tour events. The first was a Migrant Workers Panel (Feb.22/22) and the second was a focus on Canadian Mining Impacts Panel (March 10/22). You can find the video recordings for these events via embedded links here Migrant Workers Panel
In addition, through FPSE-BC in 2022, your International Solidarity Fund (ISF), funded 12 human rights and community enhancing projects (valued at just over $65,000), including two projects sponsored by members of the KFA (projects in India and Brasil). I wish to encourage all KFA members to consider proposing such small but impactful international solidarity projects if they have community partners in mind. ISF proposals will be accepted starting Jan 1st, 2023 (for a 6-week period normally up to a mid-Feb deadline). For more details, contact me or please see: https://fpse.ca/campaigns-issues/international-solidarity
Furthermore, through your KFA Antiracism Working Group (ARWG) we also desire to hear, see and better understand the voices, visions and concerns of Indigenous colleagues who are fully or precariously employed at KPU. We wish to better understand Indigenous concerns and priorities related to employment security, workplace cultural safety (and how we might improve our workplace solidarity actions). Indigenous faculty are encouraged to speak with and/or join your KFA Executive, Table Officers, Bargaining Committee and the ARWG. We aim to be reaching out more on this front in 2023.
Coming-up in the new year, HRISC is planning two FPSE-HRISC 2023 Speaker’s Tour events. One of these will be focused on Academic Freedom / Rights in our educational workplaces (online event planned for March 2023). Another event will be focused on International Student Rights Issues (hybrid event, also planned for March 2023). I will pass on details about both of these FPSE-HRISC Speaker’s Tour events once times and locations have been confirmed.
Finally, if you are interested in learning more or taking further action(s) in support of International Human Rights Day, I would propose that you join one of the many December 10th actions on human rights available online, such as Amnesty International’s (AI’s) “Write for Rights 2022″ Writing Campaigns. Writing just one thoughtful letter about an issue or a person can be an action that makes a difference. For more information please visit: https://amnesty.ca/news/news-releases/write-for-rights-2022/
Thanks for taking the time to think about Human Rights and International Solidarity now and during the coming year.
KFA Human Rights and International Solidarity Committee Rep
Member of KFA Antiracism Working Group